Telenor India lost 689,000 mobile subscribers during the quarter ended December 31 2016 (Q4 2016), higher than the 185,000 subscribers that it lost in the previous quarter. The telco reported 44.03 million subscribers for the quarter, down 1.5% Quarter-on-Quarter (QoQ) from 44.72 million subscribers.
The telco’s overall India revenue growth was flattish at 1.417 billion (Norwegian Krone NOK) in Q4 2016, compared to NOK 1.545 billion in the previous quarter. Overall revenue also fell marginally by 1.3% from NOK 1.436 billion in the same quarter last year. Telenor India made a loss of NOK 45 million during the quarter, which narrowed down NOK 368 million in the same quarter last year. The company said that its operating profit was negatively impacted by NOK 155 million in impairments and write downs.
Mobile ARPU was Rs 85 per month during Q4 2016, which is the lowest during 2016. In the previous quarter, Mobile ARPU stood at Rs 92. The highest mobile ARPU rate during the year was Rs 93 during Q2 2016. Telenor’s EBITDA stood at NOK 127 million, down from NOK 132 million in the previous quarter.
-Subscription and traffic revenue was NOK 1.14 billion for the quarter, down 7% YoY
-Interconnect revenue stood at NOK 257 million in Q4 2016, up 34% YoY
-Other mobile revenues were NOK 8 million, and non-mobile revenues stood at NOK 5 million during the quarter
Talks with RCOM and Airtel
The company is speculated to have been in talks with RCOM-Aircel for a merger deal, after the telecom industry in India turned fiercely competitive following Reliance Jio’s launch. It was reported that Telenor’s wants to own 10% stake in the merged entity, with Aircel and RCOM owning 45% each in the joint venture.
Reports of Telenor talks with RCOM came just days after the company was reportedly in talks with Airtel for a $350 million merger. The companies, however, did not comment on the reports when MediaNama wrote to them.
In the previous quarter, Telenor mentioned that it was evaluating options in India and that its long-term presence in India is subjected to its ability to secure additional spectrum.